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June 22nd, 2016


A single graded race topped the weekend of racing at Belmont Park.

Poker S. (G3): Fanticola and Scardino’s OBVIOUSLY (Choisir) sailed to the front soon after the break and was never challenged in earning a 3 ¾-length decision for conditioner Phil D’Amato. With Jose Lezcano in the controls, the eight-year-old gelding sped one mile on the outer lawn in a superb 1:31.65, .02 seconds off Elusive Quality’s course record.

Track Stats

A total of 46 races were held at the Elmont, New York venue, with favorites winning at a 30 percent rate and the top two betting choices combining for 46 percent of the wins during the week. From 19 races on the main oval, three animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (21 percent), while six of the 27 grassy races were taken all the way on the lead (22 percent).  

We thought both ovals were mostly fair to every kind of runner, which is often the case at this meeting.

From the six wire jobs on the green, four came on the inner turf, all but one overall occurring in a route run. The main oval saw four wire-to-wire winners, two in sprints and the other pair in route races.

Meet Totals












126 (37%)

2nd Choices:


64 (19%)

Turf Wire:


30 (20%)

Dirt Wire:


35 (18%)





Wednesday (6/15)

3RD – CLOONTIA (Sidney’s Candy) was allowed a soft early lead and took full advantage posting a facile maiden turf tally under Junior Alvarado. Disqualified after finishing first in his previous outing, the Jimmy Jerkens trainee came home in a swift :28 2/5 and the sophomore colt could be dangerous facing winners next time.

5TH – NARVAEZ (Holy Bull) was last early but much the best late in securing a fine claiming victory in this dash. Trainer Steve Klesaris appears to have made a heady claim of a six-year-old in good form.

6TH – CAPRIANA (Street Boss) was right there late, coming up just short in a solid runner-up showing off the layoff. Unraced since September, the Todd Pletcher-trained filly had to need the outing and should benefit going forward.

Thursday (6/16)

8TH – LAST RESORT (Twirling Candy) was caught behind a dawdling early pace but the Tom Proctor charge ran well in the lane, nonetheless, for third. The three-year-old turf filly was facing elders and winners for the first time and we like the way she is going presently, with the opportunity for further improvement next time.

Friday (6/17)

2ND – Bruce Brown’s MANIFEST DESTINY (City Zip) worked to get the early lead and had plenty left in the lane, drawing off by nearly 10 lengths in a fine debut score beneath Joel Rosario. The two-year-old colt didn’t post the fastest time, but he did so in smart fashion and should get a stakes chance soon.

6TH – ONLY YOU (Belong to Me) was part of a swift early tempo and was stubborn late recording a fine runner-up showing for trainer Christophe Clement. The gelded will be graduating before long with even slight improvement off this try.

Saturday (6/18)

2ND – MADE YOU LOOK (More Than Ready) turned in a professional effort in this maiden conquer and has the look of a stakes runner who might also stretch out with more seasoning. The Pletcher pupil chased a clear leader before proving best in a sharp final time.

MASTER MERION (Quality Road) was fleetest of all from the break and was stubborn when confronted by the winner in the lane for conditioner Wesley Ward. The juvenile colt was more than six lengths clear of third and shouldn’t be a maiden for long.

8TH – FORCE THE PASS (Speightstown) was never getting to the winner but was easily second best in yet another fine showing for trainer Alan Goldberg. The four-year-old colt is a model of consistency and could come on during the second half of the season.

Sunday (6/19)

5TH – ORIENT HARBOR (First Samurai) made up ground in a race where the pace held up well, recording a sneaky-good showing for the Shug McGaughey trainee. The five-year-old mare might just need a better scenario to work with next time to get through this condition.

9TH – The Bill Mott-trained KAT ZIPPITY (City Zip) had a tough rail post, broke slowest of all and was last the top of the lane but it didn’t matter as the debuter ran best of all to post a fine win in the turf route. The sophomore filly could be any kind with more seasoning.

A Look Ahead

The $250,000 Bed O’ Roses H. (G3) on Saturday is the lone graded race this weekend at Belmont Park.